What you need to know
- 76 anti-ICE protesters were arrested at a demonstration at the Microsoft Store on 5th Avenue in New York.
- The protestors are upset that Microsoft allows ICE to use Microsoft technologies.
- Microsoft states that the company "is not working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border."
Seventy-six anti-U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protesters were arrested for blocking traffic at a demonstration at the Microsoft Store on 5th Avenue, New York, on Saturday afternoon (via CNN). The protest was in response to Microsoft allowing ICE to use Microsoft technologies. Protesters chanted "this is the price for business with ICE" from the street and held signs inside the store. Microsoft has issued several statements regarding immigration, ICE, and child protection, including a post by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in June of 2018.
Beatriz Lozano, an organizer with Close the Camps NYC, explained why the coalition protested at the Microsoft Store on Saturday,
As members of this society it is our responsibility to hold US corporations accountable. By being complicit in their actions we are being complicit in the targeting of the Latinx community and the racist torture and trauma that is being inflicted. We have the power to end this cruelty.
A video shared on Twitter shows protesters marching on the street outside the Microsoft Store and holding signs inside the store on Saturday afternoon.
A Microsoft spokesperson told CNN "We're grateful to the NYPD for their help with protestors at our store on 5th Avenue. We've closed the store for the rest of the day and look forward to opening our doors again soon." The spokesperson also sent Microsoft President Brad Smith's statement from June that discusses immigration and child protection.
An NYPD spokesperson stated that 50 women and 26 women were arrested. Close the Camps NYC's Twitter account shared a video of people being arrested.
Microsoft has issued several statements regarding ICE, immigration, and child protection in the past, including posts by both MIcrosoft CEO Satya Nadella and Microsoft President Brad Smith. In June of 2018, Nadella clarified the relationship between Microsoft and ICE:
I want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with the U.S. government on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border. Our current cloud engagement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.
Microsoft received criticism in June of 2018 because a post from January 2018 stated that Microsoft was "proud to support" the work of ICE. Notably, this statement was made months before the controversy over child separation. A Microsoft spokesperson stated in response to that criticism that "As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border."
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